How long does it really take to fly from Sacramento to San Francisco? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach San Francisco, you need to include time at the airports. Eventually, you'll be able to customize this itinerary to select other nearby airports and choose your preferred airline.
Wednesday, 8:47 am: start in Sacramento
drive for about 28 minutes
most airlines recommend you get to the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight, so arrive by 10:10 am at the latest
9:15 am: Sacramento International (SMF)
if you need to check luggage, make sure you do it at least 30-60 minutes before departure, or in this case, by 10:40 am
9:45 am: get your boarding pass and go through TSA security
allow enough time for long security lines during busy travel seasons or holidays, and prepare for the wait time
10:45 am: arrive at the gate
once you're ready to board, you can get something to eat in the airport or just relax near the gate
11:15 am: prepare for boarding
check your boarding pass for your group number or listen to the gate agent as they announce boarding, some airlines require you to be in the boarding area 10-15 minutes before departure or risk losing your seat
11:30 am: board SkyWest Airlines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route
11:40 am: this is your scheduled departure time
but remember flights can be delayed, so take that into account
it takes the plane an average of 17 minutes to taxi to the runway
11:57 am: wheels up! take-off from SMF
fly for about 28 minutes in the air
12:25 pm (local time): San Francisco International (SFO)
San Francisco is the same time as Sacramento
taxi on the runway for an average of 6 minutes to the gate
12:31 pm (local time): arrive at the gate at SFO
deboard the plane, and claim any baggage
if you're renting a car, check if you need to take a shuttle to car rental agency, otherwise you can ride in a cab, limo, or Uber for about 33 minutes to your destination
1:05 pm (local time): arrive in San Francisco
Now finally, let's look at an example flight from SMF to SFO and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.
So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Sacramento to San Francisco including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.
Total travel time: 4 hours
How far is San Francisco from Sacramento? Here's the quick answer if you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line.
Flight distance: 75 miles or 121 km
Flight time: 26 minutes
Compare this to a whole day of commercial travel with the airports and waiting in line for security, which ends up taking a total of 4 hours, 18 minutes.
Flying private is roughly 6.1x faster, and saves you about 3.5 hours in your total travel time.
Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.
This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. The flight itinerary at the top of the page takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.
Looking at flights on SkyWest Airlines Inc. from SMF to SFO, here's a breakdown of the number of flights available each day:
Based on these statistical results, we chose Wednesday for the flight itinerary above.
We picked SkyWest Airlines Inc. for your main flight, but there are other airlines that you should check if you're looking for the cheapest flight, or you need a different schedule. Check the websites of these airlines:
Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to San Francisco, California. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in San Francisco. Trippy has an entire Q&A community where you can post questions and get answers from expert travelers or locals who know the area. For instance, you might be interested in the answers to this question: How much time does it take to get from SF to Sacramento?. If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out Top of the Mark. A great place to eat might be Ike's Place. Trippy members can suggest things to do in San Francisco like Golden Gate Bridge. Check out some of the questions people have asked about San Francisco like Best seafood restaurant in S.F.? Click the button below to explore San Francisco in detail.
The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line. But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse flight itinerary to fly from San Francisco to Sacramento, or go to the main page to calculate other flight times.
You can also compare the travel time if you were to drive instead. Get the full itinerary for a Sacramento to San Francisco road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from Sacramento to San Francisco?
If you happen to know Sacramento, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Sacramento!